In an effort to help move the unified communications (UC) industry along faster, Nortel Networks (TSX: NT) recently launched a new global UC education and certification program for its channel partners and end-users.
Scott Schauer, director, certification programs at Nortel, says the company realized that the majority of the industry is still in the planning phases of implementing UC solutions. That’s why he said Nortel took a vendor neutral approach when it put together a self-study book titled Unified Communications Solutions: A practical business and technology approach. The self-study guide is available from Nortel Press, a Nortel authorized publisher that develops guides for IT professionals and other individuals who support Nortel products and solutions.
The self-study book is part of the new UC training and certification program, which Schauer says was announced by Nortel in December.
“The program is designed for channel partners and end-customers and professionally-speaking, it will also be for sales engineers and IT department professionals since there’s more of a pre-sales UC focus,” Schauer said. “In addition to the book, we also have face to face training, Web-based training and boot camps.”
The book is about 450 pages long, Schauer says, and focuses on four key areas: UC evolution and functionality, solving business communications challenges, implementing UC solutions, and securing voice-over IP, SIP and UC solutions.
“From an end-customer point of view the more they know about the application, the more successful they’ll be in implementing (UC),” said Schauer. “Partners can also put out their credentials in UC to help promote and benefit themselves in the UC market too.”
Particularly in these uncertain economic times, Schauer says it’s becoming more important than ever for partners and companies to work to differentiate themselves. UC, he says, is one of those differentiating features because it not only enables better customer service, but also faster access to people and information.
“My message to channel partners would be to stay informed and educated,” Schauer said. “There’s a fair amount of complexity involved beyond things like call centres. The more informed they are on UC, the better they can position the solution.”